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EYE SPY: Here comes another ’Richmond’?

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by BAK, Sep 27, 2008.

  1. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

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    EYE SPY: Here comes another 'Richmond'?

    Adam Lusekelo
    Dar es Salaam

    LOVELY! Tanesco is zapping Tanzanians with yet another power-rationing schedule that will see us go without electricity for up to 10 hours.

    Have we been there before? Yes, indeed. And we didn't like it one bit. The Richmond fraud is still stinking to sky high throughout our country.

    It could happen again, you know. There are many reasons to fear for the worst. This time it is a Songas breakdown. Three turbines failed earlier this week.

    Energy and Minerals Minister Bill Ngeleja is said to have moved to allay fears that the latest power crisis will last for eternity. Eti, measures had been taken to mitigate the effects of the loss of 100MW from the national grid following the Songas breakdown.

    Now Songas is a relevantly 'newish' set-up. Has it been under some warranty or guarantee or something? Or will Tanesco have to go begging to the Treasury?

    I hear experts from the US-based General Electric Company (GEC) arrived on Thursday to examine the three turbines. There is a lot of play around this deal.

    Bill Ngeleja said that Tanesco technicians discovered that the Songas turbines were faulty during a routine check-up, but added that further inspection showed that the turbines could be repaired within a relatively short time.

    One wonders, why didn't the Tanesco technicians fix the problem in the first place? Or is it what I usually fear most that Tanesco 'technicians' cannot match GEC 'experts' from the US? (Reminds you of the Late Mwalimu Nyerere's story of African 'rat-catchers' and wazungu 'rodent officers').

    The thinking right now is still that African artists produce 'wood carvers'. If they are wazungu they are called 'sculptors'. The minister, Bill Ngeleja, said that Tanesco technicians found the fault. Couldn't Tanesco e-mail for a new spare part and replace the offending part?

    It is now quite huge, this 'expert' industry. I have seen electrical technicians from abroad who came to be paid obscene salaries as 'experts'. At the rate we are going now, we are going to import electricity 'experts' from abroad who will come to help us to change our light bulbs!

    The country is watching the whole show with great apprehension. Or else our biggest fear is that we should 'float' a tender to buy another set of turbines to replace the ones there are. This tender could be awarded to some fictitious company in the US of A. Then payment, amounting to billions, would be made to that fictitious company.

    When the fake company is caught stealing it will be stopped, but no questions will be asked. No one will be arrested or penalized. The company will quieten things up by bribing a political party so that it wins kwa kishindo. Believe me the risk to steal is worth taking, since no one will be penalized for any wrong doing. After all it is not in our culture to penalize culprits!
  2. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

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    Black-outs cost 2bn/- daily
    Daily News; Saturday,September 27, 2008 @19:01

    The government now faces a bit of the devil's choice: go back on its word and utilise the Dowans' generators in the light of the current load shading which is bleeding the economy by a hefty 1.9bn/- daily – or stick to its political decision and send the firm packing.

    Industry watchers have told the 'Sunday News' that that one unit of electricity not saved costs almost $2.5 US dollars: this taken at an average of 60MW of shaded power daily equals $1.6m (or 2bn/-).

    They cautioned that it would amount to ‘economic suicide' to maintain the current load shading simply on account of defending a politically influenced decision to terminate Dowans' contract – whose generators are technically sound but still lie idle at Ubungo.

    The observers argue that there was need to retain Dowans' generators by following procurement procedures or an arrangement deemed feasible under the circumstances to avert the losses and envisaged rising electricity demand, given that the economy was growing pretty fast.

    "The government is in an awkward situation … it's difficult to go back to Dowans which took possession of the generators owned by Richmond Development Corporation of Houston in the United States because of a number of factors which led to termination of the contract," one observer quipped, suggesting that a "fresh, clean deal" could provide an honourable way out of an embarrassing situation – purely on national interest.

    The Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (Tanesco) terminated the services of Messrs Dowans Tanzania Limited on August 1, this year, when the firm was also ordered to remove its power plant by the end of next November.

    The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, Mr Gray Mgonja, last Friday met officials from the government's energy sector (Tanesco included), who advised him to consider the need to utilise Dowans generators in the light of the adverse impact of load shading and envisaged rapid increase in power demand.

    Authoritative government sources told the 'Sunday News' on saturday that Mr Mgonja, himself unavailable for comment on saturday, was due to discuss the matter with relevant authorities before he could hazard a solution.

    The sources said that Tanesco management had since briefed its board (of directors) on the need to have extra capacity from the Independent Power Project (IPP) - including utilising the Dowans' generators – and that this had since been "forwarded to higher authorities."

    Two years ago, our sources said, the maximum power demand ranged between 530-550MW; by last year, this had jumped to 650MW – further climbing to 670MW by last month. It is now forecast that demand for power could peak at 780MW sometime next year – against Tanesco's hydropower production maximum capacity (plus IPPs on line) would hover around 850MW.

    Power supply capacities through national grid remain uncertain following unreliable rainfall, and our sources have tabulated a worrisome trend – with actual power supply in brackets: Pangani 68MW (20MW at night); Kihansi 180MW (90MW); Kidatu 200 mw (120), Mtera 80MW (40), Hale 8 and Nyumba ya Mungu 11.5MW; Aggreko 40MW; Wartsilar 100MW and Songas 180MW (74).

    In the meantime, the Independent Power Tanzania Limited (IPTL) with a capacity of 100MW is not supplying any power to Tanesco because of a pending tariff dispute. However, Tanesco has since presented to its board a comprehensive report on the envisaged power supply shortfall against the country's generation capacity – a copy of which was also passed over to the government

    Authoritative sources said that the board, if anything, preferred to re-negotiate Dowans' 60MW facility, and the utility firm's management has advised to request Messrs Dowans – in writing - to withdraw its notice threatening legal action against Tanesco for terminating its services.

    Our sources said that Tanesco had already done as advised (writing letter of retraction) but Dowans' officials claimed on Friday that its offices had not received such letter. A source close to Dowans said that it would opt for the best commercial deal since the demand for IPP in their possession was high worldwide. The Minister for Energy and Minerals, Mr William Ngeleja, was not available for comment.
  3. Mzee Mwanakijiji

    Mzee Mwanakijiji Platinum Member

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    smart move!!... I told somebody yesterday kwamba at the end of the day, Dowans and Richmond will still be paid. Na dalili zilizoko (mark my words) ni kuwa kutokana shida yetu ya umeme na ukweli kwamba Richmond haikuingiwa kiusahihi, mipango inafanywa ili hatimaye the real Richmond iweze kuingia mkataba na serikali, kwa uwazi kabisa na kusahihisha makosa ya hapa na pale lakini hatimaye waweze kutuuzia umeme.
  4. J

    Jamco_Za JF-Expert Member

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    Those guys see us as wajinga wasiojua kufikiri hata kidogo, wametangaza kuwafukuza sasa wametafuta sababu ya kuwarudisha tena, kwasababu hata mwananchi wa kawaida ukimwambia achague kuwafukuza hao jamaa au kuwalipa kwa hali ilivyo sasa atasema walipwe.
  5. U

    Ulusungu Member

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    Tujipe muda kidogo yawezekana hata uharibifu wa mitambo ya SONGAS ni pre-arranged mission...
    Nothing impossible in our lovely country ya WATU WAZURI NA WAPOLEEEEE!!!!!!.
    Huu mtego wengi tunaweza naswa na kuamini hii ambacho chawezakuwa Kiinimacho cha kuharibika kwa mitambo ili mradi... ikamilishwe.
    Waungwana mliopo TANESCO tuambieni ukweli
  6. WomanOfSubstance

    WomanOfSubstance JF-Expert Member

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  7. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

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    Fisadi Mkapa is paid Shilling 146 million per day by TANESCO. Does fisadi Mkapa supplies any electricity as per his contractual obligation with TANESCO? or it is another ufisadi project whereby he is receiving millions in payments without fulfilling his daily obligations?
  8. Mhafidhina

    Mhafidhina JF-Expert Member

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    bai ze wei, serikali hivi karibuni imeikopesha Songas kiasi cha dola za Kimarekani zipatazo Milioni Ishirini...! ili SOngas waweze kutengeneza Umeme mwingi zaidi...! Cha kushangaza Songas si muwekezaji katika sekta ya umeme, iweje akopeshwe hela na Serikali? Habari ndio hiyo wadau...!
  9. O

    Ogah JF-Expert Member

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    SONGAS si another Richmond....SONGAS ina-stand by its own as mradi wa kifisadi........how.....naona mmeshaanza kuona........three (3) turbines zina -fail!!!!!!.......jamani jamani wahandisi..........

    This ufisadi ting is very well coordinated...........for your information!!...........and i would not be surprised na hii linkage ya Richmond saga
  10. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

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    Ngeleja juzi juzi tu aliwakikishia Watanzania kwamba hakutakuwa na mgao wa umeme, sasa mafisadi si ajabu wanahujumu hata turbines makusudi ili wapitishe mikataba yao ya kifisadi!! Turbines tatu kwa mpigo zionekane zina hitilafu kwa wati mmoja!!!!? Kuna mkono wa fisadi RA hapa na wenziye. Tuambiwe ni hitilafu h=gani zilizoonekana katika hizo turbines? Je hazikufanyiwa inspection yoyote zilipowasili tuko nje? Je huwa zinafanyiwa inspection kila baada ya muda gani ili kuhakikisha zinafanya kazi inavyotakiwa?
  11. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

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    Songas yawajia juu TANESCO

    na Salehe Mohamed
    Tanzania Daima~Sauti ya Watu

    SHIRIKA la umeme Tanzania (TANESCO) limesema halina taarifa zozote juu ya ujio wa wataalamu kutoka nchini Marekani kwa ajili ya kutengeneza mitambo ya kampuni ya kuzalisha umeme wa gesi asilia ya Songas.

    Awali kulikuwapo na taarifa za mafundi hao kuwasili jana asubuhi kwa ajili ya matengenezo ya mitambo iliyokorofisha ya Songas na kusababisha nchi iingie katika umeme wa mgawo.

    Akizungumza na Tanzania Daima jana jijini Dar es Salaam, Meneja Uhusiano wa TANESCO, Badra Masoud, alisema mpaka jana mchana alikuwa hana taarifa yoyote kuhusu ujio wa wataalamu hao.

    Alisema hivi sasa Songas ndiyo wanapaswa kutoa taarifa hizo kwani tayari wameshaanza kupata malalalamiko kutoka Songas kuwa TANESCO wanatoa taarifa nyingine ambazo zilipaswa kutolewa na Songas.

    "Mimi sijui kuhusu kuja kwa hao wataalamu mpaka sasa na tayari tumepata malalamiko kutoka kwa Songas wakidai sisi tumeanza kuwasemea mambo yao," alisema Badra.

    Aidha, Tanzania Daima ilifanya juhudi kumtafuta Waziri wa Nishati na Madini, Wiliam Ngeleja, kutaka kujua ujio wa wataalamu hao lakini simu yake ilikuwa imefungwa wakati wote.

    Naibu Waziri wa Nishati na Madini, Adamu Malima, alisema hawezi kulizungumzia suala hilo kwa kuwa yupo likizo kijijini kwake na hayajui mambo ya ofisini.

    "Nipo kijijini ndugu yangu, siyajui mambo ya huko mjini na ofisini mtafute mheshimiwa waziri atakupa taarifa kamili," alisema Malima.

    Kwa takriban siku nne sasa Tanzania imekabiliwa na upungufu wa umeme kiasi cha kuanza kutoa umeme kwa mgawo kwa kila mkoa kulingana na ratiba iliyopangwa na Shirika la Umeme Tanzania TANESCO.
  12. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

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    Was Sabotage involved?

    Power shedding duration unclear

    2008-09-27 09:49:09
    By Rosemary Mirondo

    ``We shall only be in a position to do so once technicians from General Electric Company jet in from US to determine the damage,`` said Energy and Minerals minister William Ngeleja in Dar es Salaam yesterday during an exclusive interview with The Guardian.

    The minister said the machines were bought from the General Electric in the United States and Songas had already informed the manufacturer about the technical failure.

    ``The manufacturer ordered Songas to switch off the turbines pending arrival of the technicians,`` Ngeleja said.

    ``Songas technicians conduct routine service checkups but this time they decided to consult the manufacturer who told them to switch off the machines. The company felt if left unchecked, the problem could cause major damage,`` said minister Ngeleja.

    The minister, however, gave assurances that there was sufficient power supply capacity, saying Aggreko, a private power generating company, would supply the 40 megawatts to the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco).

    ``We have enough water and gas to meet the demand. We are still working with investors to find other sources of energy such as wind,`` he said.

    The Guardian later contacted Tanesco chief executive officer, Dr Idris Rashidi, whether the sudden failure of three Songas turbines was not a result of sabotage.

    The question arose because a major gas plant like that of Songas was expected to have a very high level of regular maintenance and routine inspection by highly qualified engineers, given its significance to national economy.

    The simultaneous failure of three turbines was thus prone to the raising of eyebrows.

    Dr Rashidi said: ``It is normal for turbines to develop technical faults. This has happened many times before, although it is usually one turbine at a time. This time it is three turbines together, that`s why many questions are being asked,`` he said.

    Dr Rashid said a normal inspection had been carried out by Songas staff and the problem reported to General Electric.

    The US firm issued instructions to the effect that the turbines should not be touched until the experts flew in to check the problem.

    According to the Tanesco Director General, the US experts were originally expected in Dar s Salaam on Thursday, but would arrive today instead.

    ``Ideally, they take about four hours to determine the problem, so by the end of tomorrow (today), after their thorough check up, they will establish exactly how long it will take to fix the problem,`` he said.

    He added: ``I doubt if Songas would be game to this sabotage. They pay a fine for everyday that they fail to produce electricity.``

    Songas is paid around USD 6 million capacity charges per month, whether it supplies electricity or not.

    Asked if he would take up these allegations for further investigations, Dr Rashid said this task did not fall into his portfolio but was the responsibility of Songas.

    Once it is established that it will take months to repair the defective Songas turbines, there is a possibility of the authorities turning to Dowans and IPTL power generating firms.

    Such a possibility, faint as it might be, once it occurs, will generate a major public controversy, due to the public furore that arose from questionable contract provisions related to the two firms.

    Tanesco had cancelled the Dowans power generation contract only recently.

    Furthermore, the country is yet to recover from the Richmond power generating scandal.

    Commenting on the issue, Tanesco`s Communication Manager Badra Masoud said Aggreko could only supply 40 megawatts, which, according to her, cannot meet the total demand.

    ``We are still negotiating to see if they can supply us with more electricity. We are not sure whether they can do so,`` said Masoud.

    She said the technicians from the US would jet in today.

    Tanesco announced the start of power rationing on Wednesday after three Songas turbines developed mechanical problems that caused a deficit of 110 megawatts, equivalent to 16 per cent of the country`s total power output.

    Masoud said Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam would not have power from 12 noon to 11pm adding that in Dar es Salaam, Tanesco would cut off electricity only in the city centre.

    ``We would not like to stop industrial production. We thought that a number of industries are located out of city centre, but power will not go off in places like Bank of Tanzania, Muhimbili National Hospital and State House,`` she said.

    Masoud said that on Sunday, the rationing would involve Mwanza, Mbeya, Kilimanjaro, Arusha, Shinyanga, Morogoro and Tanga regions from 12 noon to 11pm.

    She said Tanesco was working hard to make sure that the company fulfilled the needs of its customers by establishing long term solutions, including putting up sub stations which would be producing power by 2009.

    ``There is one in Tegeta, Dar es Salaam, whose construction is underway. It will produce 45 megawatts, and we expect about 50 megawatts from Singida where we plan to have electricity sourced from wind,`` she explained.

    However, she could not tell when exactly the problem will be solved.

    Speaking to The Guardian, Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda said that the 40MW deficit the national grid suffered following the hitches at the Songas plant was too small to shake the nation.

    Tanesco needs about 670 megawatts to meet the country`s electricity needs but it can only produce 535 megawatts.

    Tanzania experienced the worst power rationing in 2006 after the electricity generating dams ran dry following prolonged drought.

    The government then commissioned private firms to generate emergency power.

    SOURCE: Guardian
  13. M

    Moelex23 JF-Expert Member

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    This is my take,

    Let the country be in darkness for as long as needed, until the generators are fixed or Tanesco buys new generators BUT NO MORE POWER DEALS LIKE RICHMOND/DOWANS, sababu the minute U sign the deal, SONGAS generators will start running and we will have bought power from the new deal that won't be needed!!

    therefore let us stay in Darkness, since we have a deficit of only 40MW.

    So here is my take total power needed ~~ 600
    Deficit ~~ 40MW

    so quick math says we need to have mgao about 10% of the time, Am I wrong???

    Nadhani haya mambo ya siku nzima hamna umeme ni usanii tu ili contract mpya isainiwe. HELL NO!!!!
  14. K

    Kokolo JF-Expert Member

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    Stupid Tanesco:

    Kama wanalipa $6,000,000.00 for capacity charge kwa 100 MW kwa Songas, kwa miezi 12 ni sawa na $72,000,000.00 hizo pesa zingetosha kununua 200MW. new turbine of 100 MW each.
  15. M

    Moelex23 JF-Expert Member

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    Kokolo pole mkuu, kwani hujui SONGAS hata ile gas yetu wao ndio wanasay wapi iende?? Yaani technically wanaown ile gas ya Songosongo na mtaji walichukua Worldbank guarantee ambayo ilitolewa kwa Tanesco lakini wajanja wa Mkapa wakaipora na kuform kiprivate company ndio kikamiliki. Baada ya kelele kutoka worldbank nadhani Tanesco wakapewa ownership ya 40% kwenye SONGAS, lakini ndio hivyo tena hawajaambulia hata sent moja na kutwa wanadaiwa na kuendeshwa kama kichaa na kampuni ambayo wanatakiwa wawe wanaown 40%. Ni ile michezo ya kuigiza ambayo inafanyika TZ tu kwani hata David Blaine hawezi hiyo.
  16. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

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    Tanesco sasa yawapigia magoti wenye makampuni ya umeme
    Na Jackson Odoyo

    WAKATI makali ya mgao wa umeme yakizidi kuongezeka kutokana na mitambo ya kampuni ya kuzalisha umeme wa gesi ya Songas kuharibika, Shirika la Umeme Tanzania (Tanesco), limeaanza kuwapigia magoti baadhi ya makampuni yanayozalisha umeme nchini ili kuongeza uzalishaji.

    Habari zilizopatikana kutoka ndani ya shirika hilo zinaeleza kuwa tayari wameanza kuzungumza na kampuni ya AGRECO ambayo inaliuzia umeme shirika hilo ili iongeze uzalishaji wake kuziba pengo la mitambo iliyoharibika ya Songas.

    Mbali ya kampuni hiyo, Tanesco imeanza kuweka mikakati ya kuongeza uzalishaji wa umeme kwa kutumia mitambo yake inayotumia mafuta na ile inayotumia nguvu za maji.

    Hata hivyo, meneja uhusiano wa shirika hilo, Badra Masudi alisema wameamua kuwasiliana na makampuni hayo ili waongeze uzalishaji wa nishati hiyo muhimu badala ya kuendelea kusubiri mafundi wa Songas kutoka Marekani.

    "Hatuwezi kuendelea kusubiri mafundi wa Songas wakati hatufahamu ni lini hasa watawasili nchini kwa ajili ya kutengeneza mitambo hiyo," alisema Masudi na kuongeza:

    "Na kwa kuwa ujio wao hautabiriki, tumeamua kuwasiliana na baadhi ya makampuni yanayozalisha umeme kama vile Agreco,na pia tunatarajia kuzidisha uzalishaji katika mitambo yetu inayotumia nguvu ya maji na ile inayotumia mafuta."

    Alisema wamefikia uamuzi huo kwa sababu umeme ni kitu muhimu sana katika maisha ya binadamu, ikiwemo uchumi wa nchi.

    Alifafanua kuwa megawati 110 ni nyingi sana kiasi kwamba, hawawezi kuendelea kukaa kimya kwa sababu mitambo ya Songas imeharibika na kwamba kiasi hicho kinaweza kusaidia uchumi wa nchi kwa kiwango kikubwa sana.

    Aliongeza kuwa awali walikuwa wananunua megawati 182 kutoka Songas lakini hivi sasa wanapata megawati 72 tu na kwamba kiasi hicho ni kidogo mno ukilinganisha na mahitaji ya jamii ya matumizi ya umeme.

    Kuhusu siku ya kuja mafundi hao ambayo ilikuwa iwe Ijumaa, Bi Masudi alisema hana taarifa yoyote mpaka sasa na kwamba anategemea kupata taarifa za uhakika leo.

    Waziri wa Nishati na Madini, William Ngeleja hakuweza kupatikana.
  17. H

    Humble Servant Member

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    Mbona huyu JK ana laana gani jamani....!!!!!!!mbona serikali yake hiiishi mikosi?Wakati anaingia madarakani akakumbana na njaa..........marakidogo uhaba wa maji ukatuufikish RICHMOND..........mara.........songas na turbaines..........mara.........mara buzwagi.......mara EPA...........mara.........nimesahau vingine ila ni mabalaa tu.........aaaha tumechoka sasa
  18. S

    S. S. Phares JF-Expert Member

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    G$&*£$"^$&%rrrryyyrrrryuyyyy....sometimes option ya kuwasusia nchi hawa majambazi inaonekana sio mbaya sana kuliko kuumizana roho namna hii.

    Hii ni taarifa rasmi kuwa Tanzania sasa inatawaliwa na MAFIA MOB.
  19. D

    DoubleOSeven JF-Expert Member

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    Should we appreciate the obvious coincidence that these power blues are always COMING up during our DRY seasons? ALWAYS!!! Is it not true that during this appropriate season the best combination of reduced DAM waters and a bit of sabotage (RA and cohorts sponsored) is sufficient to lure TANESCO into power shedding (Daily news say shading!!!) dreams...and thats a lot of shillings into FISADI pockets?? Yeah, its already heating up in Dar. Same time last years, they came up with the same shit!!! Aah Wadanganyika bwana!!!!
  20. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

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    IMPENDING POWER CRISIS: `Tanesco can`t rule out prospect of new deal with Dowans`

    Dar es Salaam

    TANZANIA Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) says it won't rule out the possibility of entering into a new contract with the controversial Dowans Holdings Company or buy its Dar es Salaam-based power plant in the wake of the latest national energy crisis.

    ''Purchase or no purchase depends on various factors -- price, purchasing process and the need. We're examining all options,'' TANESCO Managing Director Dr Idris Rashidi said in an interview.

    He made the remarks when asked if his firm had any intentions to hire or make an outright purchase of the existing turbines from Dowans after the malfunctioning of gas-powered turbines operated by Songas knocked off 110 MW from the national power grid.

    Government terminated a previous contract for the supply of 100 MW of emergency power by Dowans, which inherited a deal signed by the dubious Richmond Development Company.

    However, Dr Rashidi insisted that it was too early to know the government's course of action, until an assessment of the situation by engineers from the General Electric (GE) company of the US was concluded.

    ''First we need to know whether the breakdown is for a very short-term (say one week) or for a month (or two),'' he said.

    He explained that the GE engineers, who were expected to arrive in Dar es Salaam at the weekend, would submit a technical report after assessing the situation.

    The controversial contract between TANESCO and Dowans was terminated effective August 1, this year, after much legal wrangling.

    There are already fears of sabotage in the sudden malfunctioning of the Songas turbines, thus effectively creating a new energy crisis in the country that could trigger off the commissioning of another dubious emergency power deal.

    ''Since TANESCO pays millions of dollars in standby fees (capacity charges) to Songas each month, was there no provision in the contract that required Songas to constantly report to TANESCO on the maintenance status of the power plant and its turbines?'' queried an industry source.

    He added: ''I find it very strange that the turbines operated by Songas would suddenly shut down one by one. There's something fishy in all of this.''

    Dr Rashidi said he hopes that the problem with the Songas turbines was just a ''temporary breakdown.''

    The abrupt failure of the Songas turbines has forced TANESCO to introduce a 10-hour power shedding schedule currently crippling the nation.

    ''Power shut-downs will adversely affect our customers -- small and large. It will cause disruption of economic and social activities,'' he said.

    He noted that the power cuts not only affected the public utility's turn-around goal, they also had severe consequences for the national economy.

    "One shilling lost in electricity sales has an impact of almost three shillings on the economy. So the impact on the economy is more important in this regard," the former central bank governor said.

    He added that the financially-troubled TANESCO was on course to achieving profitability by 2011.

    ''We are on track ... actually ahead on that target,'' he said.

    Dr Rashidi said TANESCO was finalizing the national Power System Master Plan that would soon be formally presented to the government for adoption.

    ''The initial recommendation is that we should have a reserve margin of 15 per cent. That's, we should have excess generation facility to cover 15 per cent of our electricity,'' he said, adding ''This power security is very important if we are to avoid problems like this (power cuts). This is the practice all over the world and we have to implement same to avoid these problems going forward.''

    Songas generates a total 190 MW at its plant in Dar es Salaam, where TANESCO also runs its own gas-powered plant that produces another 100 MW.

    TANESCO plans to add another 45 MW from natural gas to the grid by 2009 and another 200 MW the following year.

    The public utility has an installed capacity of 1,212 MW, of which 562 MW is from hydro dams. It projects annual demand will rise to more than 1,100 MW by 2010.

    Tanzania experienced massive power cuts in 2006 after drought hit TANESCO's hydro power production.

    This led to the signing of dubious power purchase agreements with Richmond and subsequently Dowans, resulting into a scandal that forced the resignation of former Prime Minister Edward Lowassa and two senior cabinet ministers -- Nazir Karamagi and Dr Ibrahim Msabaha.